Over the past 10 years since the Helsinki Accords were signed, there have been continuing problems with human rights abuses in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, particularly with respect to the persecution of religious believers. Anatoly Shcharansky's recent visit to the United States reminds us of the continuing struggle for all prisoners of conscience. . . . Recently another case has come to my attention -- that of Sergei Khodorovich.
sk As a result of his Christian faith and defense of human rights, Sergei Khodorovich, a 44-year-old Russian, has suffered years of abuse and imprisonment in a Soviet labor camp in Norlisk, Siberia. . . .
sk,3 Khodorovich was imprisoned more than three years ago for managing the Russian Social Fund, a charity established by Alexander Solzhenitsyn in 1974 to assist the families of prisoners of conscience. Khodorovich took over that position in 1977 after the previous manager was arrested. . . .
For two months, while awaiting trial, he was systematically beaten by Soviet officials in a fruitless attempt to coerce a false confession that the fund is a front for Western intelligence agencies. . . . Sergei continues to suffer greatly for his courageous, unselfish efforts to help many people, and we must denounce and demand a halt to such abominable human rights violations. At the same time, we must remember that Khodorovich is just one of many who [have] been been persecuted in the Soviet Union for his religious beliefs and desire to help others. In raising his case, we are really raising those of thousands who suffer equally . . .